51,040 new domain names were registered in 2018, an increase of 29.1% YoY (2017- 39,523). The total .IE domain database recorded 259,815 active domains by the end of 2018, up 10% on the previous year. Net growth in .IE domain registrations increased by 60%.
Turnover at the company increased by 8.3% from €3.06 million in 2017 to €3.32 million in 2018.
Relaxed Requirements Drives Growth
The increase is attributed to the liberalisation in registration rules which took effect in March 2018, as well as strong marketing and publicity campaigns in partnership with Blacknight and other registrars.
The report shows a surge in Q1, corresponding to the easing of registration requirements. New registrations have continued at a higher rate since then.
As the leading registrar of .IE domains, Blacknight had been a strong advocate for the liberalisation of registration requirements. We ran an information and marketing campaign to raise awareness about the easing of restrictions, and the benefits of domain name ownership. We continue to promote .IE names heavily, with an attractive €5.99 offer for new registrations, and a website-builder bundle with domain and SSL for only €39.99.
The IEDR report acknowledges this work:
“This exceptional growth was generated almost totally by the marketing and promotion activities of our accredited Registrar community, particularly around the time of the liberalisation of the registration rules”IEDR Annual Report 2018
“Accredited Registrars are essential partners in promoting and marketing .IE”, said David Curtin, Chief Executive of IEDR. “The exceptional growth in 2018 is due to their energy and commitment to grow and develop the .IE namespace as an online identity for Irish business, residents and citizens”
Research and Outreach
IEDR’s report also highlights its research and outreach work. The company published a single edition of its flagship research, The SME Digital Health Index, which analyses and measures the digital health of Irish SMEs. This was the first year of the report in its new, annualised format, which surveyed 1,000 SMEs rather than 500 twice yearly as per previous reports.
In addition, the ‘Digital Town’ initiative was launched in 2018 to celebrate and highlight the knowledge, use and understanding of the internet among citizens, businesses and communities. Blacknight participated in the Internet Day events which were held in Gorey, Co Wexford, the 2018 Digital Town.
2018 was a year of policy development, according to the report. As well as the liberalisation of the registration requirements and the implementation of GDPR, the company also developed a new Alternative Dispute Resolution Process, which was launched in July this year.
Vindication for Positive Policies
With more .IE domains under management than any other registrar, Blacknight are the dot-IE experts. Our CEO Michele Neylon welcomed the IEDR report as a vindication for positive policies.
“Blacknight advocated strongly for .IE liberalisation, and we are delighted that customers have embraced the new process with enthusiasm. The growth in .IE registrations is a vote of confidence in the Irish internet and we are very happy to be part of that”Michele Neylon, CEO Blacknight
He believes that more can be done. As an Irish SME, we know that small businesses are cost-conscious, and rightly so. While the liberalisation and marketing efforts have certainly been a factor in the success of .IE, Michele points to the €5.99 price promotion as well.
“We’ve knocked more than 75% off the price of new .IE domains, and clearly that resonates with customers. If IEDR wants to really drive registration volumes, they should reduce the wholesale price of IE names to bring them in line with other major European country-code domains”Michele Neylon, CEO Blacknight
The IE Domain Registry Annual Report and Review 2018 is available to download here.